The Two Sides of The Sport

Racing is fascinating; there's no two ways about it.

Races like Sunday in Sweden or yesterday in New York are fabulous. We have the Preakness where most of the participants and horses trended on twitter, more than even the American Idol contestants.

Our big days, through the passion for the sport, mediums like twitter and some investment from places like the Jockey Club are superb. They prove what can be done when passionate people get together for a common cause. They prove what can be done when everyone works towards one specific, attainable goal. One thing these days have in common: They are fan and customer driven.

On the other hand we have the rest of racing - from Scioto, to Northfield, Beulah to Golden Gate, Delaware to Suffolk. There is no common goal on medication, or takeout, or horsemen contracts, or slot deals. There are short fields with superstables winning at 2-5, resulting in a snorefest. There is no one working towards a common good, because people can't even agree on what the common good might be. You can't score a goal if you don't even know where the net is, and they are fiefdom, not fan and customer driven.

It's a chasm as wide as ten grand canyons.

Can every day racing be changed for the better? Can everyone get together like they have on our big days to improve the product and get the buzz going? Can we finally deal with rake, and short fields, and ADW contracts and new bets or exchanges, and medication reform? Can we make the rest of the year customer and fan driven instead of "get me the largest piece of the pie" driven? If we read the headlines it seems not only elusive, it seems impossible.

Right now our big days keep us smiling, and they keep our enjoyment in the sport at a zenith. If only the rest of the year we could do that too. Then we'll know we're really onto something.

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